Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill debated
This week the Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill was debated in the Federal House of Representatives.
Feedback from industry (including NWRIC) and opposition parties has delivered a number of sensible and practical amendments to the Bill.
The amendments focused on the development of a circular economy as opposed to its promotion and revising the definition of those who need to take responsibility for products. The term remanufacture has been added as. There is also increased transparency on granting of export exemptions, requiring the Minister to publish all exemptions granted and to report quarterly on all export licences and exemptions granted.
Shadow Assistant Minister for the Environment Josh Wilson MP spoke in the House in support of the Bill and acknowledged the work of NWRIC as well as the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association and ACOR in providing feedback to present more workable legislation.
He also acknowledged these organisations’ ‘leadership more generally in the cause of achieving a paradigm shift in Australia’s waste and resource management industry’.
The Bill will continue to be debated next week and the link to Hansard for debate on the Bill this week (22 Oct) can be found here.
New Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence established
The Federal Government will invest $1 million in the establishment of a new Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence that will ‘play a key role in driving Australia’s circular economy towards an eighty per cent recovery rate across all waste streams by 2030’.
The grant is provided under the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund as seed funding, bringing together the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures, the Australian Industry Group and Cox Inall Communications.
NWRIC CEO Rose Read welcomed the establishment of the Centre of Excellence, saying the Centre would help accelerate the development of effective product stewardship schemes.
“From industry’s perspective, regulated product stewardship schemes are proven to be far more effective than voluntary as they ensure all businesses participate and are accountable for the environmental impacts of their products throughout their complete lifecycle.
“The Centre will work closely with businesses to fast-track the development of more schemes and that will have the effect of driving greater re-circulation of resources in the economy and less materials going to waste and harming the environment.”
For the Ministers’ media statement announcing the centre click here